Professional tips for custom metal fabrication

metal fabrication

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Novice engineers often make mistakes in the selection of materials and design. Some mistakes and blunders cannot be reversed. Eventually, manufacturers have to bear high losses. Custom metal fabrication is a complicated process. The more you choose simpler options, the better you go with your project. When you are new or inexperienced, you may need several professional tips to identify the secrets of successful metal fabrication projects. This blog is the best guide for manufacturers, engineers, and workers to achieve high-end fabrication. 

Choose the right material

Material cost significantly affects the overall cost of the project. Choosing the right thickness for the sheet metal gauge is the main task. Sheet metal gauges are available in pounds per square. Whether you choose steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or other metals, you will get thickness per inch and different weights per square foot. 

Before choosing the metal for your project, it is essential to understand the requirements of the business. The size of sheet metal, thickness, and compatibility with the project’s metal selection criteria matter. 

Plan design detailing

Manufacturers must be clear about the detailing of the desired design. What will be the thickness of the metal sheet? How many tight tolerances are included? Further, planning includes surface flatness, height, width, length, the radius of the corners, final weight of the product, depth of hole, hole diameters, and many others. A comprehensive design will help to create a more efficient product or part.  

metal fabrication design
metal fabrication design

Keep the designs simpler

Try to keep your design simpler. A simple flat metal sheet product will cost less than a fabricated part with several complications, bends, and punches. Closely examine your final design before sending it to the fabrication company.

Some elements are added to the design just to enhance aesthetics. Some elements get added unnecessarily that have no link with the end product’s performance. Edit and modify the overly-added details. The simpler you choose, the faster and cheaper product you get.

Avoid tight tolerances

Tight tolerances like the Hole Diameters, distances, and radii are the toughest part of the design. It not only increases the labor but also costs much more. So, manufacturers or businesses should move wisely. Only include those callouts in your design that are necessary. The more bends, punches, and presses required for your project, the higher the upfront cost of the product. 

Opt for the standard stock gauge for manufacturing.

Custom metal fabrication comes with a different stock gauge for each project. Choose the thickness of the metal sheet wisely. Sometimes, too thick a metal sheet is hard to mold or bend. It is better to choose a standard metal sheet gauge. A standard metal sheet size eases the cutting, punching, drawing, and other processes. Most importantly, it keeps you within your budget. Choosing unique thickness and metal sheet, gauges significantly exceed the average cost.

Simplify angles and bends

The more difficult angles you choose, the more the fabrication processes and methods. The more machinery and manual labor to heighten the cost of the project. So avoid unnecessary bends and angles. If you consider bends essential for aesthetic elements, think twice. Search for other aesthetic elements that will cost less and improve the project’s structure and functionality. 

Keep the project budget in mind.

Sometimes, businesses add several design details to get the best product. But they ignore the budget of the project. There might be other financial issues if you have no investment issues in a project. For instance, the end product may become so expensive that customers cannot afford it or pay a higher price. So, keep the prices compatible with the market to beta competitors. For this purpose, businesses must keep the budget in mind while adding details to the final manufacturing process. 

Quick tips for custom metal fabrication projects

These quick tips will save you money and time and increase your project’s value. 

  • Complicated fabrication requires more punches and stamping. Consequently, it increases the lead time. So stay as simple as you can. 
  • Avoid long fabrication processes to save time and money.
  • Choose cheaper cutting and finishing methods.
  • Avoid time-consuming bends, folds, and presses.

To sum up, custom metal fabrication can undoubtedly provide you with an end product that caters to the needs of your business. You can go with the best fabrication processes without compromising quality and performance. Professional fabricators always suggest simpler and easier processes. Before finalizing the project, choosing the right metal, finishing options, and other techniques is good. Thus, manufacturers can better guide you about the overall cost of the end product more precisely. Engineers, manufacturers, and installers can use their expertise to bring the best cost-effective solution. 

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